Susan Straight, author of the novel, Mecca, which Michael Connelly called “a masterpiece,” and I talked about her new novel and how it came to be. Susan Straight was born in Riverside, CA, and still lives there with her family. She’s passionate about home, California, the Santa Ana River, the foothills and the deserts, and has been writing about southern California and the inland area for forty years. From her kitchen window, she can see the hospital where she was born, which her three daughters find kind of hilarious and pathetic; most days, she walks her dog Angel beside the Santa Ana River as she has since childhood, and then past the classrooms at Riverside City College, where she wrote her first short story, at 16, which is also kind of hilarious, but hopeful. She has written about the people of California for her new memoir, In the Country of Women, based on women’s stories told for five generations to Straight and her daughters, in driveways and trucks, at parks and funerals. She’s published that memoir, eight novels, and two books for children. Her short stories and essays have been published everywhere from The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian to Alta, The Believer, McSweeneys, Zoetrope, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, and Family Circle. She’s been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lannan Prize for Fiction, a California Gold Medal for Fiction, and the Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.
Julie Clark, author of The Lies I Tell, and I talk about how she found her way to the domestic thriller genre, why she finds female con artists fascinating, her revision process, how she finds time to teach full-time and get her writing done, and so much more.
Julie Clark is the bestselling author of . It has earned starred reviews from , , and , and the has called it “thoroughly absorbing”. It’s been named an Indie Next Pick, a Pick, and a Best Book of 2020 by Amazon Editors and Apple Books. Her debut, , was published in 2018 and has been optioned for television by Lionsgate. She lives in Los Angeles with her two sons and a golden doodle with poor impulse control.
Erica Ferencik, author of Girl in Ice, and I talk about her new novel, creatures that can freeze and thaw out alive, why she’s a plotter, writing the book she wished existed, and more.
Erica Ferencik is an award-winning novelist who writes adventure novels featuring women who brave not only internal struggles but face extreme challenges in their environment: remote forests, steaming jungles, and desolated ice scapes. To research GIRL IN ICE, (Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster), she explored the desolate iceberg-packed fjords of Greenland.
Steve Almond, author of All the Secrets of the World (Zando, 2022) joins me to discuss his new novel and why he wanted to write a social novel, how it took him five tries to get it right, and much more on the process of writing. Steve is the author of twelve books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His recent books include , which is about reading and writing and the struggle to pay attention to our lives, and , a literary investigation of the 2016 election. For four years, Steve hosted the New York Times with Cheryl Strayed. His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American Mysteries series. His new book is a novel called .
(Recorded on May 27, 2022, via Zoom audio)
Music and sound design by Travis Barrett
Check out his typewriter compositions at Just My Type on Spotify
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com
Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com
Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com
Jeffrey Fleishman, author of the brand new novel, Good Night, Forever (Blackstone), and I talk about setting your book where you live, side characters, crime fiction and social issues, and so much more.